The changes in citizenship rules introduced by the Canada government in October 2017 have made Canadian citizenship accessible to more people. According to the estimates of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), around 152,000 people will have received Canadian citizenship within one year since the changes were introduced. This is a 40% increase compared to the same period in 2016-2017.
Before the rule changes, permanent residents were required to have stayed in Canada for the equivalent of four out of six years. But now, they need to be physically present in Canada only for three out of five years.
There has been more than 130 per cent increase in the number of applications for citizenship during the nine months since the changes were introduced. The number of applications rose to 242,680 from 102,261, which is the number of applications received during the same period in 2016-2017.
The changes to the citizenship rules, which were introduced with an aim to make obtaining Canadian citizenship easier and faster, are together known as Bill-C6. The other major rule changes under Bill-C6 that spurred an increase in the number people obtaining Canadian citizenship are:
-The temporary residents or protected persons who apply for Canadian citizenship can claim 365 days towards the requirement of having physically present in Canada during the three out of five years.
-Language and knowledge requirements for citizenship were limited to candidates in the 18-54 age group, as against 14-64 age group.
Compared to permanent residents, Canadian citizens enjoy a lot of advantages. These include the political rights to vote and contest in elections. They also get residency rights without needing to accumulate days of residency in Canada. Moreover, Canadian citizens can apply for Canadian passport.
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